The introduction of the new metaphor flowline induced the news organization to break free from the old deadline regime, where the print product governed most parts of the organization, to a highly successful ‘online first’ production mode, that surprisingly benefits also the print production. Flowline is thus both a technological shift and a shift in mentality – and it is the latter that we throughout years of researching media organizations have seen newsrooms struggle with. A key for efficient organizing of the work flow in newsrooms is synchronized production and distribution – what we call flowline, rather than the differentiated and punctuated time frames of deadline production.

Curves in different colours on a timeline
Example of filled in timeline for when different kinds of sources are available.

Red = public sources
Green = sports/culture

Orange = students
Blue = people in general

The aim for the change of temporal regimes was to support the newsrooms in achieving a more stable and predictable everyday production in sync with their audience’s expectations of when news should be available, through elaborating imaginatively the implications of time regimes in their everyday work life as a way to improve their present work flow.

So, if you want to connect with your audience or target group, first figure out what their “flow” is. Then you can change the mindset of the production line, into a work flow that is free of the non-digital constraints. The added benefit in the newsrooms that implemented flowline was that the employees reported less stress and reduced anxiety. They simply got a better work life, in the matter of less than a month.